Terror Alert Triggers Increased Security Around Hub City - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/20/03

Terror Alert Triggers Increased Security Around Hub City

Lubbock authorities almost immediately sprung into action after Tuesday's threat level increase. Police have been told to pay close attention to suspicious activity. At LIA, increased security measures are being put in place by both the airport and airlines.

Travelers will now see stepped up security at the curbside drop off and pick-up areas. Also, once you get inside expect increased security at ticket counters and in the terminals. At this point, LIA Director of Aviation Mark Earle says they have not been directed to conduct vehicle searches, but he says they could get that directive at any moment.

Other heightened security measures will take place behind the scenes. You won't necessarily see increased scrutiny of passengers and baggage, but it is happening. All this just three days before Memorial Day weekend. "This is the first big travel period of the summer. Fortunately, we're being notified now as opposed to Friday night at 5pm. We'll be able to put the proper components in place," says Earle.

In downtown Lubbock, Ken Olson in the Emergency Ops Center got the terror alert page at about two in the afternoon. The EOC is keeping a sharp eye on places where large groups gather, like the mall, sporting events and schools. "What you're trying to do is get as much heads up on any type of information that you possibly can. What affects will this information have on our citizens, if any?," says Olson.

Bottom line here at the airport if you're flying in or out anytime soon, show up early, plan on delays and be ready for inconveniences.

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